Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Sama" and other new tricks

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming (of constant whining about sleep battles) to bring you some exciting news. For the past few weeks, Sasha's been doing these amazing new tricks (and I am totally unbiased of course). Her favorite thing to say is "sama" meaning "myself", then she proceeds to do whatever it is I was trying to do herself. It's truly amazing: she puts on her pants/shorts/undies all by herself (although she still needs help pulling them all the way up), she puts on her shoes, she takes her dirty diapers in the trashcan (and claps very proudly after she does), she likes to do everything by herself (that, unfortunately includes taking her diaper off at completely inappropriate times, but oh well). Just yesterday, she put on a t-shirt (grated, it was backwards, but it still counts!)
She's also been saying "sentences": usually stringing two words together. It all started a few weeks ago, when she saw a cup of tea on papa's nightstand (we were all sick, so he was drinking tea all day long) and she said "pei chai" (drink tea). it was hilarious. Now she does it all the time, "mama am" (mama eat), "papa na" (here you go, papa), "Sasha pat'" (Sasha sleep, yeah, right, who are we kidding, but she does say that anyway). It's so funny, but so wonderful seeing her string words together and make sense of it all and try to express herself better. She's learning more words now than she has in previous months. And she's obsessed with letters and numbers. She totally knows letters A, B, L, O, sometimes C and D. And she recognizes the number 4. But refuses to say 6 when counting, sigh.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Another crazy weekend

Saturday afternoon we were celebrating Z's birthday at our place. Which was going to be somewhat tough to pull off, but I was determined (even preparing some of the food on Friday night). Our dearest little kid decided it'd be fun to make it even more difficult for us by waking up at 4am for the day (after another 2am wake-up). I decided we've had enough and we took her to see the pediatrician. Where she successfully conked out in papa's arms, she then finished up her nap on me. But we still managed to pull off a pretty rocking party, if I say so myself.

Sunday, we celebrated my mama's birthday at my parents' house. Of course, Sasha (once again) had her own plans and napped late. Again on me. So we didn't get to spend quite as much time there as we had hoped. But it was nonetheless a fun evening!

Ahem *clears throat*

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a very important announcement to make. Our little Miss Cranky-Pants-I-Don't-Want-To-Sleep-And-You-Can't-Make-Me napped for two straight hours today. And only after an hour of me reading to her, leaving her room, coming back, sitting with her. That is what I like to call a good nap. Can we all just cross our fingers and hope that this is the turning point?

Monday, July 26, 2010

An update of sorts

Saturday morning, after waking up with Sasha at 2m and then 4am for the day, I called her pediatrician. Up to that day, nothing could be done to soothe her without her screaming bloody murder for a long time, I decided it was time to see if something was wrong. The doctor reassured us that there wasn't anything physiological bothering her, that it was just a severe severe separation anxiety she has (from me) So she suggested Z put her to bed every night, since that causes little to no screaming on her part. She also suggested putting her in bed a little later for now. And guess what, it worked. For the last two nights, here papa put her down, read her a book, and she went to sleep all on her own! Granted she did wake up at 2am the first night, but still.
Now, naps are a whole other story. Sigh. I am home with her alone, which means that I have to get her to nap. Which I'm sure will continue being difficult. Yesterday when I was trying to get her to nap, she screamed and she cried no matter what I tried. She wouldn't be held, rocked, I couldn't lay down next to her crib, she wouldn't lay down in our bed, storied and lullabies did nothing but anger her further. So today, I have two options: either try to lay down next to her bed and try to get her to sleep that way (hopefully being reassured that mama's right there and won't leave her will help) or leave at increasing intervals and if she's not asleep in 30 minutes, nap time is over. Both approaches are from Ferber's book (although very different): the first approach should help with a very anxious child, he says (read: separation anxiety), the second - if her naptimes are just messed up.
Either way, wish us luck. I may end up sobbing on the phone with Z though, which has happened before.

Update on the update: naptime was a big fat fail this afternoon. I lay down with Sasha, I read her a book, she read a book, a lot. Loudly (I may or may not have dozed off at some point). She'd quiet down, then get rowdy and jump all over her crib. This went on for about 45 minutes. She just wasn't going to fall asleep, it seemed. So I took her out. She was happy as can be for most of the afternoon, falling asleep at her highchair while eating her dinner. Bedtime wasn't bad either. Need a new approach for tomorrow though...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Rocking Sasha to sleep

...results in her sleeping on the pillows on the floor. Next to her crib.
This has been going on for 2 weeks now. Short of calling her pediatrician and asking what on earth could possibly be causing this, I've run out of ideas. I haven't called the dr. yet, because I'm fairly certain she'd look at me like I had two heads and laugh. Loudly. So that's out of the question for now. And nothing seems to work. She behaves slightly better for her papa when he puts her down in the evenings, but with me, she just screams and screams. Going in at intervals (Ferber) doesn's seem to soothe her and only pisses her off more. Picking up and then putting her down gives very similar results. 
We did take her crib tent off her crib last night and she seemed to quiet down after Z checked on her just once. But today at naptime, it was back to the usual screaming routine she seems to have picked up somewhere. So I rocked her. And guess what? She slept for two beautiful hours (albeit on the floor) But now I'm completely terrified I'll end up with a 6-year-old kid who can't fall sleep on her own or sleeps in our bed!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Happy birthday, papa!

Today, we celebrate papa's birthday. With a bang. Sasha decided she wanted to give papa extra cuddles on this wonderful day and wake up at 5:30am (too bad he's already promised me he'd get up with her, and I was way too exhausted to argue with him, hehe) Then off to work he went. While Sasha continued her insane nap-refusing drama. She did eventually fall asleep in her stroller after her swim class. We celebrated with sushi and wine for dinner, nothing fancy, but it was nice to just hang out. We're having our families for dinner this Saturday to properly celebrate (and it's a good excuse for Z to play with his grill too)
We're so so happy to have Z as our husband and papa (and boy, I was especially happy at 5:30 this morning!) He is such an amazingly caring and loving dad, his main priority is and always has been our family's well-being. And while he does tend to try to solve my problems instead of just listening and letting me complain (like most men do), he does have the most wonderful shoulder to cry on when I need him. And I just love seeing my little girl's eyes light up when he walks through the front door (and he always always has a hug and a kiss for her). We love you, papa, happy birthday!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Gymboree fun!

Last Wednesday, Sasha and I decided to try out Gymboree for the first time ever (I got a fantastic deal on Groupon that I just couldn't pass up). But of course, I forgot my camera... and what do you know after class, we saw Shaquille O'Neal and Rachael Ray being filmed in a Trader Joe's in the city... but I digress. The kiddo had so much fun playing there that the very next day she blurted out a funny "beek-a-boo" (she's only used the Russian "kookoo" for hiding games) Holy moly, I thought, this Gymboree thing is effective! Today, I made sure to take my camera with me (although for fear of being looked funny at, I grabbed the p&s which did not yield such fab results as my SLR does, oh well)
We "made" pizzas, then cut them with pizza cutters and "ate" some
Having fun jumping with the clown
Guess who wore herself out and fell asleep on the subway?

And yes, she's still having a hard time falling asleep, so we'll keep working on it. I'm crossing my fingers (and toes too, just in case) that this is just a phase and will pass sooner rather than later. I had been planning to start full-on potty training in a couple of weeks, and I really just wish we could deal with one thing at a time. On top of that, at the end of August, we're going to a summer house we're subletting for a week, so that may throw everything off. But we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sleep troubles here!

Miss Sasha has pretty much always been a good sleeper. She slept through the night at about 2.5 months (that ended of course right before she turned 4 months old and went through what's known as the "four-month-wakeful" period, that lasted about a month) So she has been sleeping so nicely since she was 5 months old. Of course there were bad nights here and there, but overall, it was great.
Then, completely out of nowhere, last Saturday night, she refused to be put down in her bed. Refused. We're talking screaming bloody murder and practically clawing her way out of the crib tent we've put on top of her crib. And it has been a battle every time I try to put her down, naps and nighttime. My heart is literally breaking for her as she lays (stands?) in her crib and screams. Of course, we first checked that she wasn't in pain, no fever, no ear infections (seemingly), no teeth erupting (that we can see), no signs of a stomachache. And it doesn't seem to be a physical discomfort. She starts screaming as soon as she realizes I'm about to change her into her pj's and put her in her crib.
Now it could be her crib tent, but the thing is we've installed it about two weeks prior to these freak-outs starting. It could be that she thinks that papa and mama are having fun doing something exciting without her while she sleeps (but wouldn't that be the case just on the weekends?) It could be just severe severe separation anxiety, because she's constantly attached to me these days and follows me everywhere (but then again, this theory would've made sense maybe right after we came back from Europe?) Our latest theory is that it sometimes takes us a while to get her when she wakes up in the morning and she cries, so maybe she came to associate being in her crib awake with us "abandoning" her (yeah, I know, parents of the year award right here, huh? it takes us both a little bit of time to realize what's going on in the mornings)
What we're trying to do now is create a different, more clearly defined bedtime (and naptime) routine: bath, quiet cuddle time, pjs, book with mama or papa, and then bed. All the while reminding her that we're about to do the next thing as soon as we're done with the current step of the process. We also talk to her right before putting her to bed about all the things we will do once she wakes up, but that she must first sleep and get some rest before we can do all those things. We're also going to try our hardest to get her out of her crib in the mornings the minute we hear something (funny thing is I used to be really good about this when she was teeny tiny)
Ugh, this turned more into a rant than a post, but I'm really just trying to sort this out and come up with a solution. If you made it this far, you are truly a hero (as I tend to ramble on when I'm frustrated), so for that here are two completely gratuitous and fun pictures of my little sleep monster:
And of course any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sasha's best friend

This is Adya. He is my sister's boyfriend. He is also Sasha's best friend. And oh boy, does he love my little girl.
Oh, and she wasn't just running around half-naked for no reason - this child refuses to wear bibs (because, you know, they are for babies!) and we had to take her shirt off shortly after dinner started, sigh!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Fun Saturday morning

As you may (or may not) know, our weekends are usually jam-packed with things to do, places to go, and people to see. I long for just one free weekend, but I guess, gotta use up all the family time we can get. This morning, the three of us headed out to a local playground. Which, very luckily for Sasha, has a sprinkler. Oh my, how she loves those sprinklers!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My little football fan

Umm, the real football, you know? Watching Netherlands-Uruguay game this afternoon, Sasha throws her hand up in the air and yells "gaaaaau"

Monday, July 5, 2010

Our long weekend (in many pictures, and not too many words)

I'm going to start this post by saying that I love love love long weekends. I love that we can sleep a little longer (and this weekend was extra special with Sasha waking up as late as 9:30am!) I love that we can spend a little extra time together. I like that we're all a little more relaxed. But since I promised not too many words (as I tend to do), here's what we did this long weekend:
Saturday, we headed to Z's aunt's house in upstate NY for her birthday, which was a blast. A very loud crazy blast. There were easily 10 kids there. And two puppies. And who knows how many adults.
Sasha with grandma and great-grandma
Sasha and her cousin Sarah - love love love!
Cake craze
Already put to work, eh?

My dad - I love how cool and calm he was in all that chaos
Z and his dad had a little water gun fight

Sunday, we had a little bbq at Z's parents house (my parents joined in the fun) and we went for a dip in a new baby pool that my mother-in-law bought "for Sasha" - yeah, right, for Sasha, hehe.
My big girl making bubbles in the pool - I was so proud of her!
Yup, I squirted Z with a rubber ducky. And got him. He almost had to change (but it was too warm out)
With grandma L., not the best picture (by far), but I just love my mom's expression!

And today we did almost nothing. Ahh, it was glorious! In the morning, we made a quick run to the pharmacy to pick up a few things, then little Miss took an extra long nap. We then hung out by the a/c and ran to Babies R Us for a few things.Too bad Z has to go to work tomorrow!
Hope everyone had a fun and safe weekend!

22 months old!

Holy moly! Our *little* baby girl is getting bigger by the minute. She's all over the place now and has her preferences when it comes to foods, people, books, toys. She's learning the alphabet and numbers and whenever she sees a letter or a number, she screams "a", "b", sometimes "c", very often "dava" - her own version of dva (2), or "pat'" - her version of five. She loves "singing" the alphabet song. She loves playing with her dolls, kissing them, cuddling with them, and putting them down for a nap. She has recently started pretend-feeding them (and us of course). She is practically a pro at drinking out of a regular (child-sized of course) cup and eating with a spoon and a fork. She now says about 70 words. And the most exciting part: she started putting two-word sentences together; just today when we put her down for her nap, she said "mama... pat'" (mama sleep) and then "papa... pat'" (papa sleep). She points to objects and names who they belong to. And just loves helping out around the house. She is also a jumping machine these days, all she wants to do is turn on some music (usually one of her toys) and jump, jump, jump. Then giggle very loudly!
She is of course approaching two, which means countless tantrums every day about the smallest and most unimportant things (like me taking a bottle of lotion away or not letting her play with remote controls, you know, the things that are vital for toddlers!) I'm still figuring out how to deal with them effectively. We have not tried time-outs yet, and frankly, I don't know how well they'd work for Sasha at this point. We are (slowly) nearing potty-training stage, but that's for a whole separate post (I am completely terrified and trying to read up on this and research different methods): she's wearing underwear a couple of hours a day to get used to the idea and she sits on the toilet (usually without any results), but I'm thinking we'll go in full-mode potty-training sometime in August.
Even with all the hurdles of having an almost-two-year-old, I so often look at my little girl and am just amazed at the little person she's become, how quickly she's picking things up and how much she's changing. I love this new stage of her life.

Friday, July 2, 2010

More beachy goodness

We had a little picnic at the beach today. It was lovely. Ah, heck, who am I kidding, it was absolutely fabulous. Up to the point where I got cold and had shivers down my back and begged Z to pack up our things and go home.
We have only one thing planned for this entire weekend: Z's aunt's birthday tomorrow. And that's it. I'm actually shocked about our lack of plans. But oh well, what does a long summer weekend call for? More beach outings! And maybe a quick stop at the Babies R Us.
Happy long weekend, everyone! And happy independence day!

Beachy afternoon

Yesterday, after Sasha woke up, we headed to the beach. And by headed, I mean, I loaded up the stroller and walked for 40 minutes, since I'm too chicken to drive, especially in Brooklyn. I try to look at it from the bright side and tell myself that it's good exercise! My little girl was so scared of the sand at first, I'm guessing because we don't take her often enough (but I shall fix that by going again today). I had to lug the stroller, a kicking kid and a bag with all our provisions across all the sand, but we got there. And had a wonderful time.
And then papa joined us at the beach. With dinner. Does it get any better than that?